japanese vs. usa strats?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by parkerbro, Oct 26, 2005.


  1. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    i'm looking into getting a used strat. i haven't had one in years. i was looking at only made in usa but have read good things about japanese. these are less expensive and would like to save the bucks. any suggestions? thanks!
     
  2. AxeGrinder

    AxeGrinder Guest

    I have both. I think they are comparable in terms of workmanship (I don't mean that they're equal, but the MIJ is closer to a MIUSA than you may expect) but it really depends on each guitar. You could get a crap MIUSA or a crap MIJ...you have to look the guitar over really well before you buy to spot any shoddy workmanship. I don't think a top MIJ is as well put together as a MIUSA though.

    As for the price difference, can you beat the savings you get on a MIJ?? No way. Like I said, I have both and I prefer the MIJ by a long shot.
     
  3. drolling

    drolling Member

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    MIJ/CIJ Fenders do have distinct strengths & weaknesses. Usually great build quality- the neck pockets on my Japanese Fenders are tighter than any of my MIM/MIAs, and their vintage repros have always been beautifully executed. I remember reading a magazine article way back when Fender USA was designing the '52 tele RI. They'd gone out and bought some old American teles and were comparing them to stuff that was coming out of the Japan factory, wondering how they were ever going to be able to match the MIJ's meticulous attention to detail.

    I have a '93 ST-54 that's one of the best guitars I've owned. Unlike the bulk of MIJ strats, the ST-54's body is ash rather than basswood and the soft V neck is perfect.

    The weakness is generally in the electronics- small, cheap pots and switches that fail within weeks of purchase. The pickups are usually lousy, too. I know the ones in mine were nothing to get excited about. Swapping them out for Fralin vintage hots was a pricey, but easy fix and I played that guitar for over 10 years without doing anything else to it.

    Recently installed a Callaham vintage repro trem block & his cut down "64" arm and it's now even better. All told, I guess I have about a grand (Canadian) in that guitar, making it a real bargain, too.
     
  4. data187

    data187 Member

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    i agree w/ the above.
    the mij's tolerances are very tight but the hardware and electronics aren't as good as the usa made models.
    however, with the money you are saving, you can easily upgrade and still be cheaper than a usa version.
     
  5. royd

    royd Member

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    one piece that was mentioned in passing but deserves a more important notice is that many/most? of the MIJ bodies are basswood. That may or may not affect your choice but you should know it going in.
     
  6. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    Where does one shop for MIJ Fenders online?
     
  7. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    Or should I ask: What does 64,000 yen equal in USD?
     
  8. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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    Yen to Dollar is roughly 100:1 lately.

    I would suggest going for an older JV serial number guitar. I just picked up an '82 Japanese domestic JV strat on a recent trip to Tokyo. The Squiers that they shipped over here are supposed to be quite good, too. They come up on ebay fairly often, and I think you could get one in the $640 price range.

    On these the wood, build quality and electronics are all excellent.
     
  9. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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  10. JDouglee

    JDouglee Member

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    Shop for ones made FOR Japan, not for export to the US :cool:
     
  11. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    what does jv stand for? are the squire jv's just as good as regular strats?
     
  12. JDouglee

    JDouglee Member

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  13. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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    Yea, I'd go for that sunburst '83 JV strat!
     
  14. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a web site with all of the info you need.

    http://www.squierjv.info/jvstratocaster.htm
     
  15. JDouglee

    JDouglee Member

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    Yeah bookmark that page, he seems to have new "made for
    Japan" Fenders every week or so...

    Great prices too
     
  16. Izy

    Izy Member

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    parkerbro,

    What everyone said above is absolutely correct.

    If you can, my recommendation is to get a JV strat.

    They are really nice. I used to own one. But i trade it in for a Van Zandt strat which suits me more!

    Btw imho, JV strats are better than the newer jap strats. I'm not a vintage nut but they just feel better, play better and sound better. Cannot comment on whether a Squire JV is better than a Fender JV cos' i never played a Fender JV before but i think its about the same.

    What Jdouglee said is absolutely right, Japanese keep the best strats at home. Buy those made to stay in Japan if you want something new. Look for Navigators or Van zandt strats if possible. They are very high quality copies and are even better than the US strats IMHO.

    These sites should give you more info.

    http://www.squierjv.info/jvstratocaster.htm

    http://www.ishibashi-music.com/

    Happy hunting! :D
     
  17. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    $553.49

    Here is a good online converter
    CONVERTER
     
  18. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    Up here in Toronto, I've seen MIJ used strats price roughly in between new MIM strats and used MIA strats. The MIJ strats felt nice, but I was thorougly blow away by a used G&L Legacy for less than an MIA strat.
     
  19. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    how can you tell if a strat is a non export jap strat? thanks!
     
  20. woof*

    woof* Member

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    "crafted in japan"=made for japan market
    "made in japan"=made for export

    :)
     

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